SEAT Sport Targets Victory At Imola



27 August 2004
With 6 races still remaining this season, the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship returns to Italy for Rounds 15 and 16. The Imola circuit near Bologna hasn’t hosted a round of the ETCC since 1987, but an encouraging test session there back in March means the three SEAT Sport Toledo Cupras are expected to do well.

Following the team’s excellent performance, culminating in Jordi Gené’s podium finish at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of July, hopes are also high that the team’s first ETCC race win isn’t far off.

All three SEAT Sport drivers have enjoyed some well-earned time off since Spa. Jordi Gené carried out a two-day endurance test at Calafat before heading for the Spanish mountains and Ibiza, while Rickard Rydell’s been making the most of the Swedish summer on his boat and Frank Diefenbacher has spent two weeks relaxing in Spain. The three will meet up for a tyre test at Vallelunga next week, before moving on to Imola.

Rickard Rydell:
“I’ve never raced at Imola – in fact, the only time I’ve driven there was on the Media Day – so I’ll only have the practice sessions to get up to speed. From what Jordi and Frank have told me, the circuit should really suit us; the Toledo is good over the kerbs and good at changing direction quickly. We were more competitive at Spa than we thought we’d be, so we’re all really positive about the next two race meetings. Now is the time for us to win races, I think!”

Jordi Gené:
“Imola should really suit the Toledo; it’s a fast circuit with lots of corners and not too many long straights. Also, Spa went so well for us that I’m really feeling positive about my driving. To be honest, I am full of hope about both the next two rounds. It’s always difficult to judge beforehand, but if we’re going to win any races this year, I think it will happen at either Imola or Oschersleben.”

Frank Diefenbacher:
“I’m really looking forward to Imola – I was really strong there at the winter test. I think the track suits my style of driving very well, while the car also works well braking into corners. There are a number of places where I’m expecting us to be very fast, like the left/right chicane in the first section and the braking zone into the double left-hander. Obviously, we don’t know how strong the other teams will be, but we’re confident we’ll do well.”

Classifications (after 14 races)
D.Müller, 86 points.
J.Müller, 83.
A.Priaulx, 81.
J.Gené, 23.
F.Diefembacher, 19.
12º R.Rydell, 13.
BMW, 212 points.
Alfa Romeo, 134.
SEAT, 54.
Extra weight
Jörg Müller, 40 kg.
Dirk Müller, 40 kg.
Andy Priaulx, 20 kg.